Bipin Rawat will pay a three-day visit to Ladakh beginning Sunday during which he will take stock of the security preparedness along the border with China besides discussing key operational matters with top commanders, official sources said today. The Army Chief’s visit to Ladakh comes days after Indian border guards foiled an attempt by Chinese soldiers to enter Indian territory along the banks of Pangong lake in Ladakh. The Chief of Army Staff will pay a three-day visit to Ladakh from Sunday during which he will review the security situation and present ceremonial colours to one of the units, the sources told PTI.
They said Gen. Rawat will discuss major operational matters with top commanders in Ladakh. On Tuesday, soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) tried to enter the Indian side in two areas– Finger Four and Finger Five– twice but on both the occasions their attempts were thwarted by alert Indian troops. The assessment by the security establishment here is that Chinese soldiers may resort to more such attempt to intrude into the Indian side and there was a need to enhance the existing security arrangement along the border.
The incidents in Ladakh took place amid a face off between Indian and Chinese armies in Dokalam in India-Bhutan- China trijunction which has entered the third month. The Army officers of India and China had met yesterday in Leh’s Chusul sector where Indian side raised the issue of attempt by Chinese soldiers to enter Indian territory along the banks of Pangong lake.
Sources said the Chinese side had taken an aggressive stand at the meeting and even sought to blame the Indian troops for Tuesday’s skirmishes. They said the meeting also deliberated on ways to maintain peace and tranquillity along the border in Ladakh.
The Chinese troops had managed to enter up to Finger Four area in the region from where they were sent back. This area has been a bone of contention between India and China as both claim it to be a part of their territory. After Chinese troopers found their path blocked by ITBP personnel who formed a human chain, they began hurling stones, prompting a swift retaliation by Indian border guards.
Personnel from both sides received minor injuries and the situation was brought under control after the customary banner drill under which both sides hold banners before stepping back to their respective positions. Two thirds of the Pangong Lake are controlled by China while one-third of it is controlled by India.